The Schwarzschild Solution and Classical Tests of General Relativity

  • Norbert Straumann
Part of the Texts and Monographs in Physics book series (TMP)


The solution of the field equations, which describes the field outside of a spherically symmetric mass distribution, was found by Karl Schwarzschild only two months after Einstein published his field equations. Schwarzschild performed this work under rather unusual conditions. In the spring and summer of 1915 he was assigned to the eastern front. There he came down with an infectious disease and in the fall of 1915 he returned seriously ill to Germany. He died only a few months later, on May 11, 1916. In this short time, he wrote two significant papers, in spite of his illness. One of these dealt with the Stark effect in the Bohr-Sommerfeld theory, and the other solved the Einstein field equations for a static, spherically symmetric field. From this solution he derived the precession of the perihelion of Mercury and the bending of light rays near the sun. Einstein had calculated these effects previously by solving the field equations in post-Newtonian approximation.


Black Hole Light Cone Classical Test Lorentz Manifold Distant Observer 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Norbert Straumann
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Theoretische PhysikUniversität ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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